Aspen closes Bermuda-based US property insurance unit


Aspen closes Bermuda-based US property insurance unit

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Aspen Insurance Holdings has confirmed to Bermuda:Re+ILS that it has closed its US property insurance unit on Bermuda in the wake of nat cat losses that included the California wildfires in the last months of 2017.

A spokesperson for the company told Bermuda:Re+ILS: “As we talked about on our recent earnings call, we are looking to reduce volatility in our global insurance business. In keeping with this focus, we have decided to cease underwriting property insurance on the Aspen Bermuda platform with immediate effect. This action stems from the catastrophe loss activity we saw during 2017.

“The Bermuda book of business forms only a small part of our US property insurance book which is unaffected by this announcement.”

On February 8, 2018 the company reported a net loss after tax of $184.9 million and an operating loss after tax of $178.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, results that chief executive officer Chris O’Kane described as being ‘well below acceptable levels’.

O'Kane attributed the losses to abnormally high natural catastrophe activity, whilst recognising that despite prior actions to strengthen Aspen’s insurance book, the company still needed to take further actions to deliver substantially better results. 

According to the spokesperson the Bermuda-based team has seen Stephanie Law leave the company, while Natasha Pethick and Allison Bassett will be staying on for a while to ensure a smooth transition. “This decision was in no way influenced by the underwriting expertise or talent within the team - these individuals are outstanding,” the spokesperson said.

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Bermuda Re